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Thousands of student loan borrowers could be eligible for forgiveness now, report finds

DOE
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-04 12:09:31-04

Many of us that went, remember college. Some of us can't forget how expensive it was, mostly because we're still paying for it.

"My name is Hilary Mosher, I am almost 70 years old, in a couple months. I am a student loan borrower, I have a master's degree and I am a single parent of a disabled adult child," Mosher said.

Mosher thought education would be her key to a better future, she says after three years of grad school it turned into one of her biggest obstacles.

"When I came out I did have $42,000 of student loans. So now, by this time, I have accrued I think it's approximately $170,000 in student loans," she said.

That massive increase in how much she owes, is because Hilary has been enrolled in income driven repayments.

Mosher has spent her career making so little money she qualified for $0 monthly payments on her loans. That's caused her loans to go up with interest.

According to the Department of Education, an income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.

It also comes with the promise of forgiveness after 20 or 25 years of payments In Mosher's case she -- In year 19 --- called her loan servicer.

"They said, no, no, no. Your loan got transferred to a different servicer and your payments on the income-sensitive repayment program are forfeited because of that," she said.

This is just one of the issues advocates say plagues the program. A new report from the Government Accountability Office in D.C. found the Department of Education had lost track of thousands of payments of borrowers in the program who should be eligible for forgiveness as well.

"There are thousands of students who should have had their loans discharged and tens of thousands more who will be positively affected by the attention put to this matter," said Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia, who chairs the education committee.

He is one of the people looking into the problem. He believes now that the problem has been identified, it can be fixed.

"The Biden administration is going through now to make sure that every payment is being credited and if there's some confusion and you can't tell, the burden is going to be on the Biden administration to show a payment had not been made rather than trying to force a student to go 10 years or 15 years to try to figure out whether payments were made," Scott said.

Mosher hopes her case can be reviewed and that she will qualify for forgiveness as well.

"This loan haunts me and grows exponentially. It's like a monster, a multi-headed monster, that is impacting every aspect of my financial profile," said Mosher.